The move that came into effect February 19 onwards is aimed at making taxi rides easier and hassle-free.
Tourists and residents of Dubai can now pay their taxi fares using Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) Nol card, or their debit or credit cards. The move that came into effect February 19 onwards is aimed at making taxi rides easier and hassle-free.
This move also complements RTA's efforts to fulfill its commitment to enhance Dubai's Smart City Initiatives.
In a Press conference, Dr Yousef Al Ali, RTA's Public Transport Agency CEO, said the new initiative will be implemented in four phases, starting with 20 airport taxis, followed by 155 Hala taxis two months from now and the rest of the 8,700 taxi fleet by mid-2015. "This initiative will indisputably constitute an added value service to public transport commuting in general and to taxi rides in particular. Using this latest mode of taxi payments, we expect the ridership to increase, especially when we increase our fleet by 2020."
He said passengers will only have to swipe their Nol or debit or credit cards of various types from around the world, on a meter installed inside the taxi to pay their fares in a smooth and easy payment without the trouble of finding ATMs, in case they run out of cash. "Tourists do not need to rush for currency exchange outlets to be able to have cash to pay the airport taxis. Residents of Dubai can use only a single Nol card since there is easy integration of all RTA modes of transportation."
Al Ali also said that the initiative was not easy to implement before, as it needed to network RTA data with Network International, which powered the payment solution through Verifone, and the franchise operators. "This initiative is an answer to the long standing demand of the customers but it takes time to implement since the new features need to have RTA system directly connected to the banks worldwide."
Abdullah Al Madani, CEO, RTA's corporate technical support services sector, explained that the unified Nol card is considered one of the most secured cards, thanks to its high tech and multiple features that qualified it to win the Best Prepaid Card in the Middle East Award in 2012, as part of the Middle East Awards for Smart Cards, which is regarded the first of its kind specialised programme in the Middle East Region.
He said the infrastructure in place in this initiative will enable RTA to add more services for the taxis in the future. "This initiative will unquestionably raise the level of satisfaction of taxi commuters, and the system is customised to enable taxi users to tip the taxi drive through the use of Nol, debit and credit cards," he added.
Bhairav Trivedi, CEO of Network International, said that both types of consumers — leisure travellers and business travellers — do not need to carry cash. "All terminals are wireless. We instal one meter which accepts Nol card, debit or credit card for payment by simply swiping them on it."
He said that Network International stands in this initiative to fully work in the entire government entity within UAE and continue to produce world-class payment system of top quality so that this can be addressed like anywhere else in the world. "We are pleased to have been selected by RTA to be the payment provider of this ambitious project, which is a key initiative in line with RTA's Smart Taxi vision. The convenience of taxi users in Dubai was the key driving factor behind the launch of this service."